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Acta Paediatr. 1994 Mar;83(3):279-84.

Social maturation in juvenile onset diabetes.

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Department of Paediatrics, University of Oulu, Finland.


We re-examined a group of 82 (36F, 46M) patients with juvenile onset diabetes at the age of 19-25 years and compared their social outcome in early adulthood with that of a group of 211 randomly selected controls. Their basic school achievements and vocational or higher education were covered in detail in an interview which also included data on their employment status. Various descriptors of social situation and social maturation assessed in a separate interview formed a social maturation index. Relations between factors probably affecting social maturation and this index were analysed. The average marks scored by the diabetics in Finnish comprehensive schools were significantly lower than those of the controls. High school, vocational and commercial schools were discontinued more often by the patient group. Diabetics (27%) and controls (35%) continued their studies equally often in various vocational high schools or universities. Presently, 17% of the diabetics and 11% of the controls had no vocational education or were not on their way to gaining it. Working experience, employment status and unemployment were similar in both groups, but diabetics were more often employed in public service and commerce. At the time of the study the diabetics were significantly more often unmarried and living in the same household as their parents compared with the controls. Other parameters also indicated difficulties in the diabetic group in separating from parents. The overall social maturation index showed poor social maturation in diabetics more often than in the controls. Neither social background, education nor sex were related to poor social maturation. It is concluded that having diabetes delays social maturation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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